Pokemon GO is getting new cooperative features starting today. Gyms are being shut down temporarily, as revealed recently, but a number of new features are coming to change the Gyms and add the ability to fight in Raid Battles.
The big feature that will bring people together are new Raid Battles. By using the new Raid Pass item, you will work with up to 20 other players to try and defeat the Raid Boss within a five minute time limit. If you defeat that Raid Boss, then there’s a chance to catch an extremely powerful Pokemon, or get some exclusive items such as Rare Candies, Golden Razz Berries, and Technical Machines that can teach either Technical or Fast attacks. However, these events will cause all Pokemon assigned to a Gym to return to their Trainers. Raid Battles will either require a free Raid Ticket, available daily, or the purchase of premium Raid Tickets. This feature isn’t available yet, but is rolling out in the app soon.
You can soon get items at Gyms just as you do at PokeStops. By spinning the Photo Disc, you’ll get items in the exact same way. More importantly, Gyms are no longer controlled based on Prestige and training. Now, these Gyms feature six permanent slots, and each slot must be unique. Opposing teams battle these Pokemon based on the order they were assigned to the Gym.
Pokemon assigned to Gyms will now have a motivation meter. Over time, this motivation diminishes, decreasing its CP temporarily. This means that, without maintenance, Gyms can change hands more easily. However, Trainers can feed these Gym Pokemon some berry items, restoring motivation and allowing them to be at full strength in these battles. These Pokemon will still earn PokeCoins based on how long they defend the Gym, though.
Gym Badges can be earned by interacting with various Gyms. So for those of you that visit a ton of gyms, you have some incentive to go and visit more gyms in order to get more of these badges.
The tickets for the first live event, the Pokemon GO Fest in Chicago’s Grant Park, sold out within minutes of them going on sale, so if you didn’t get them on the first crack, you’ll have to wait for other events, which are sure to come with real-world events of their own.